DVD: Pelican Blood
Suicide and competitive bird-watching meet in dark drama from Irish director
Irish indie director Karl Golden’s second feature is more raw and vicious than his 2003 debut The Honeymooners. Harry Treadaway (Fish Tank, Control) plays Nikko, a suicidal young man whose low-key daily routine of bird watching is shattered by the reappearance of his bad influence ex-girlfriend Stevie (Emma Booth). Despite all the unlikely twitching drama, at its bare bones this is an anti-love story. While Nikko obsessively ticks off the 500 birds he has allowed himself to spot before taking his life, Stevie eggs him on, her coldness jarring with his ever-present vulnerability.
Booth plays unattainable bitchiness with a shocking believability, while Treadaway’s Nikko, careening towards a seemingly inevitable climax, is heartbreaking. Golden teases the audience, stopping this ticking time bomb with a sudden soaring twist that flips the film sideways, thus propelling it into something else.